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The 1954 French flap:

The index page for the 1954 French flap section of this site is here.

October 26, Wattwiller, Haut-Rhin:

Reference number for this case: 26-Oct-54-Wattwiller. Thank you for including this reference number in any correspondence with me regarding this case.

Summary:

The case of October 26, 1954, at 11:15 p.m. in Wattwiller in the Haut-Rhin was told as follows in Le Nouvel Alsacien newspaper for Friday, October 29, 1954, in their German-speaking issue:

Mr. F. Kieffer saw in the sky in the direction of Bollwiller, at about 11:15 p.m., a luminous object moving in zigzag in an erratic manner. It seemed to be located at 500 or 600 meters.

Mr. Kieffer called the attention on the appearance to Mr. and Mrs. G. R., farmers in Wattwiller. All three first observed the object with a pocket telescope, then took the car and tried to get closer to the "saucer."

On their road they met a cyclist who had also been observing the display for quite some time.

The more they tried to approach the thing, the more it seemed to go away in the direction of the Rhine, to finally "completely disappear" at about 11:45 p.m.

The observation lasted more than half an hour.

Reports:

[Ref. na1:] "LE NOUVEL ALSACIEN" NEWSPAPER:

WATTWILLER. - The "saucer" this is about was observed Tuesday evening during more than half an hour. Mr. F. K. saw in the sky in the direction of Bollwiller, at about 11:15 p.m. a luminous object moving in zigzag in an erratic manner. It seemed to be located at 500 or 600 meters. Mr. Kieffer called the attention on the appearance to Mr. and Mrs. G. R., farmers in Wattwiller. All three first observed the object with a pocket telescope, then took the car and tried to get closer to the saucer. On their road they met a cyclist who also observed the display for quite some time. The more they tried to approach the thing, the more it seemed to go away in the direction of the Rhine, to finally completely disappear at about 11:45 p.m.

[Ref. cv1:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

The journalist Christian Valentin indicates that on October 26, 1954 at 11:15 p.m. in Wattwiller, three people observed during more than 30 minutes a luminous object which moved in zigzag in an erratic manner at a distance from 500 to 600 meters in the direction of Bollwiller.

The witnesses decided to approach by car and met another witness of the scene on the road.

The four people together follow the luminous phenomenon, which, when they approach, escapes in the direction of the East and finally disappears at 11:45 p.m. in the direction of the river Rhine.

[Ref. cv2:] CHRISTIAN VALENTIN:

Former journalist Christian Valentin published in 2012 a very interesting book telling the story of UFO sightings, flying saucers sightings, in Alsace, from the beginning to 1980.

In this book, he reports that the case of October 26, 1954, at 11:15 p.m. in Wattwiller in the Haut-Rhin was told as follows in the Nouvel Alsacien for Friday, October 29, 1954, in their bilingual issue; which he translated:

WATTWILLER. - The "saucer" this is about was observed Tuesday evening during more than half an hour. Mr. F. K. saw in the sky in the direction of Bollwiller, at about 11:15 p.m. a luminous object moving in zigzag in an erratic manner. It seemed to be located at 500 or 600 meters. Mr. Kieffer called the attention on the appearance to Mr. and Mrs. G. R., farmers in Wattwiller. All three first observed the object with a pocket telescope, then took the car and tried to get closer to the saucer. On their road they met a cyclist who also observed the display for quite some time. The more they tried to approach the thing, the more it seemed to go away in the direction of the Rhine, to finally completely disappear at about 11:45 p.m.

Explanations:

Bollwiller is at 67° from Wattwiller, that is approximately East-North-East.

With the long duration of the observation, the thing that "moved away" when the witnesses thought they were approaching it, one can immediately think of an astronomical mistake. Venus, however, is excluded, this planet went under the horizon at 6:00 p.m. already.

However at 67° from Wattwiller exactly, at the time of this observation, Jupiter was there, low on the horizon, a little less than 5 degrees of elevation; which favors the effects "erratic movements" and "zigzags ".

The "Complete disappearance", however, does not match a setting down of the planet, as it was actually rising in the sky. There is of course the possibility that the "disappearance" was caused by a passage behind a cloud.

The low strangeness of the observation allows me to risk that it might well have been Jupiter that was observed.

Keywords:

(These keywords are only to help queries and are not implying anything.)

Wattwiller, Haut-Rhin, multiple, night, erratic, zigzag, duration, luminous

Sources:

[---] indicates sources which I have not yet checked.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross November 12, 2005 First published.
1.0 Patrick Gross February 20, 2010 Conversion from HTML to XHTML Strict. First formal version.
3.0 Patrick Gross February 4, 2015 Additions [na1], [cv2], Summary, Explanations (were "Mot looked for yet" previously).

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This page was last updated on February 4, 2015